Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

You Never Know....

It's May 1st! Seriously, May 1st?? Where the hell did January, February, March and April go? Anyway, besides wondering where the last four months have gone, I am fairly happy that it is May because that means we are slowly but surely heading towards the summer. Of course, living in Britain means that summer is not exactly what it ought to be. We'll probably get an odd week here and there with supremely hot weather, but on the whole I'd hazard a guess that we'll be needing our coats and umbrellas far more often than the season of summer would normally require. Still, summer is summer, be it sunny or not.

Anywho, although I generally hate the hot days (yeah, I'm a miserable witch), I am still far more upbeat during the summer season when compared to the rest of the year. It probably has something to do with the extra hours of daylight (it definitely has nothing to do with the summer holidays - two boisterous kids + seven weeks of no school usually = Severely Stressed Tara).  Anyway....

So it's May, and the start of a new season. Hopefully it's the start of a new phase for me too, because I'm pretty sick and tired of being Miserable Tara. So, in the interests of making a new start, I recently starting re-posting an old fanfic of mine over on HPANA. I figured I needed something regular to do to keep me occupied that didn't require a lot of brain power, but would get me back in the habit of participating online again. I've mostly been good; I'd intended posting one section a day, and although I've missed days, I've managed to post several sections at a time to make up for it. The lovely thing is that I have new readers! Back in its heyday, the fic had a strong following, but the level of participating members on HPANA has generally dwindled since the last Harry Potter book was released, and most of my original readership have either left the site, or have lost interest in reading fanfics.

Now, I'm  someone who likes to stick to what they know. The fanfic community over on HPANA is quite 'cliquey' - you definitely have a core group for a certain type of story, and generally you'll find that a group of people will stick to their own stories and won't venture into anything else. I can't grumble about that because I am largely the same. You stick to the people you are familiar with, it's just one of those things.

My original group of readers were fabulous. They read everything I posted, be it dramatic, emotional, or just plain crazy. And no matter how bizarre my writing was, they always responded positively. I really miss those days, and often wish I could go back in time a few years. *sighs*

Anywho, I was wary of posting this particular fic because, well, to be truthful, it's a bit nutty. Not only that, but I've been stuck in a rut with my fanfic (and my writing in general, if I'm being honest) for a long time. Not having my old reading gang behind me was pretty scary, especially because this was not your usual fic.

But I was brave, and I started re-posting. I had two fabulous readers immediately, who have never failed to comment after each and every update posted. *hugs Leesh and Kimmy*. Then, this morning, I had a new reader post, and do you know what, it felt wonderful. Seriously wonderful.  My three readers (now three might not seem a big readership, but on a site that has slowed down dramatically, three is no bad deal) are people that six months ago I had never really spoken to. I knew them a little, since I moderate for the site and am pretty familiar with most of the members on there, especially on the fanfic boards, but I didn't really interact with them. Like I said, we're a cliquey bunch, and we tend to stick to our own.

But do you know what? These new people are just as fun and encouraging as my previous readers. Which goes to show that if you are brave enough to step out from your comfort zone, you will probably be nicely surprised. So I have a suggestion for you (yes, I mean YOU). Try something new today. It could be anything from trying something new to eat, trying a new author or genre when you look for a book to read, even trying a random blog that you've never looked at before. Just try it. Maybe you won't like it.... but may you will. And maybe you'll discover some new friends too.


  1. Awwww! Tara! I feel so honored! I have now been blogged about TWICE in the last week by TWO of my favorite authors!
    I absolutely LOVE Wand Wars! Its completely hillarious. take the newest uppie for example...I had tears! TEARS Tara! I laughed so hard they were rolling down my face!
    I am proud to be part of the 'Get-Tara-Out-Of-Her-Rut' group.
    Thank you for giving me something that never fails to brighten my day! I am glad to count you as on of my friends :)


  2. Excellento. Ride the literary wagon to success. :)

    P.S. "busy issys ramblings" blog post "first of many" has to be the most anticlimactic ever. Five months ago!

  3. Leesh - you're one of my fave people on HPANA - well, anywhere really - because you just have such great enthusiasm. It's catching :) I'll never forget NaNo madness, it was awesome :)

    Mark - ha! Issy has been an online buddy for years, so I was excited to see that she had a blog. I'm rather disappointed that she only did the one, but I can't throw stones seeing as I haven't exactly been prolific this year myself. The 'First of many' title IS kinda of ironic though....

  4. Tara-I've been such a BAD HPANAer lately, (though I updated Mrs. Skower's last week)--but I've been a BAD BAD reader of late. I will forever be grateful for the environment there, though--for the regular readers that made me a regular WRITER, and it is true. I don't think I quite understood at the time (though I did a little)--people COUNTING ON YOU to update, drives you to write almost daily, and it is a FABULOUS habit.

    You were my first first, and I will NEVER forget it... that feeling of reading what somebody else thought of my story, and it was SO encouraging.

    I need to make a point of reading from there again. I just read slowly and have had so much OTHER reading I felt like I needed to do lately. But I owe a debt of gratitude, and the least I can do is repay the favor!

  5. Tami, I've been bad too. I can't remember the last time I read anything properly on HPANA. The most I've done is skim posts for wrong-doing (I have excellent eyes when it comes to spotting naughty words). I really need to get back to reading again....

    You are right though. There's definitely a debt of gratitude owed, and I need to pay up.

  6. Tara, excellent post. I tried something new today. I tried Hennessy BBQ wings. Yes, they were laced in whiskey and barbeque sauce. Delicious.

    Your post has also inspired me to go on the HPANA website and check it out. I haven't been on in so long. Thanks for the reminder.